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Grateful Dead Live at Madison Square Garden on 1988-09-24

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Grateful Dead Live at Madison Square Garden on 1988-09-24

Topics Live concert

Iko Iko, Feel Like A Stranger, West L.A. Fadeaway, Little Red Rooster, Box Of Rain, Ramble On Rose, When I Paint My Masterpiece, Don't Ease Me In Chinese Bones, Neighborhood Girls, Crazy Fingers, Women Are Smarter, Every Time You Go Away, What's Going On-> Drums-> Space-> The Wheel-> Throwing Stones-> Not Fade Away, E: Good Lovin', Knockin' On Heaven's Door

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Madison Square Garden
Location NYC, NY

Source FM ?


encores missing; no source info; benefit with misc guests; via Rich (yubah);
Keith Bode reports he traded around a bootleg CD of this show that matches setlist here- maybe this is his "very high quality bootleg"


Reviewer: hitmeister - favoritefavorite - February 25, 2015
Subject: Hell in a Bucket?
Is it just me or does it sound like the intro to "Hell In a Bucket" was lifted from "Neighborhood Girls"?

I was at this show. The big video screen flashing the rainforest imagery to the music made a powerful impact. I remember thinking at the time that it was the best use of music video I'd ever seen.

Being swept away by the experience, I didn't notice at the time how sloppy and lackluster the Dead's performance actually was. What a disappointment hearing the recording of this show.
Reviewer: jackstraw251 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 21, 2013
Subject: Halll & Oats.
I am no big fan trust me but this show was live on radio being for the rain forest and I remember tapping it, When they did WHEN YOU GO AWAY I got chills for some reason but I cannot find it anywhere. NO you tube NO WHERE I don't even think it's on the master tape anymore, I called Dick and he's not sure of just didn't want to tell me. DOES ANYONE HAVE THIS ON TAPE/CD? I WANT IT THE WHOLE SHOW IF POSS. RIPPLJACK.
Reviewer: Cream Puff Peace - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 8, 2013
Subject: Settle Down Easy
Another very decent big hall soundboard show. Not the best of a setlist, but the band is out on the road and playing for the masses, and that's what makes almost any of their shows an enjoyable event.
I sure hope the happy campers that leave the angry reviews about all the 80's shows are reviewing with a bit of humor (and hopefully a bit more of an open mind). The terrible set lists had to include the 80's influenced albums the band was putting out (music that they knew that they had to tweek to sound like all the other ungodly music being played on the air during this time period).
Also, you need to keep in mind that the band was a band and the music was a joint effort to present over, and over and over and over again across the U.S. (mostly) 70-80 times a year. So, if the music is such a drag (for you to listen to or deal with), don't listen to this period. The band would be getting just as much grief if they played the same sets (of constant 60's and 70's material) all the time. Come on, cut the boys some slack. At least Donna isn't on any more shows past the 1979 or so.
Reviewer: wisconsindead - - August 21, 2011
Subject: Just listen to the Stranger, West LA and Rooster.
While the reviews for this show are mostly right, there are gems in it. The Feel like a stranger is an above average version with great moments throughout, I love this version. I also love Jerry's "feel like a stranger" vocals which lead us into the jam, he sounds horrible but I personally think it adds nicely to the song. It is followed by West LA with Mick Taylor joining the band. Mick adds a great flavor to this tune as well as the Rooster which is equally well played; both above average. Despite the legitimate criticisms from other reviewees, these three songs rock and are certainly worth hearing. The following Box of Rain is a standard version, nothing too special but its always a fun tune and I find nothing about it to say it sucks. I don’t care for Ramble so I can’t say, The masterpiece is alright, Phil has some nice work as the tune starts, though I prefer jer adding his vocals during this tune. Jer’s vocals are certainly rough during the Don’t Ease me In and theres nothing special about this version. A relatively weak first set that has a few gems.

I haven’t listened to the second set but I doubt its worth it; an ugly set list which ends with the dreaded Throwing Stones > NFA combo, yuck.

Also, WHAT THE FUCK were they thinking playing iko iko AND man smart woman smarter in the same show? One of them is bad enough, sure I like them both (more than R&B or shitty rap), but they rank quite low on my favorites, and when it comes to it, they’re the same fucking song!
Reviewer: dupree413 - - August 21, 2011
Subject: To Each His/Her own
I had seen the boys a number of times and liked when certain guests "sat in" b/c the "x" factor sometimes went off the charts.

This - for me - was NOT one of them.

If you want to hear good solid shows with guests, check out Stephen Stills in October '83, Santana '87, just about any of the first sets with Matthew Kelly Fall 1984 & Spring '85.

I know the benefit was for a cause that is significant. But with the exception of Taylor on Rooster, the interaction just does not work. Suzanne Vega is good in her own right. Hall and Oates? How did that happen. No offense.

The show itself, bordered on prefunctory. The post-drums was like get me>off this stage>as soon>as possible.

An unusual setlist does not in itself make for a great (or even good) show. I suppose after playing almost everynight the band had little left.

Cheer the cause...listen to other shows for great quality.

Peace and more Peace
Reviewer: nigeldavahah - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 16, 2010
Subject: Daryl Hall
this rocks
Reviewer: Darrylizer - favoritefavorite - December 31, 2009
Subject: What might have been wasn't
Such a shame that this benefit didn't happen on a day when Jerry and company weren't sick or wiped. As it is Susan Vega, Bruce Hornsby, Hall And Oates and Mick Taylor do their best but the Grateful Dead sound listless on their own material and underrehearsed on the cover songs. Jerry's voice is just awful, and as Trannyman said he's in need of some serious bed rest. And despite the presence of Nigerian wonder drummer Babatunde Olatunge, drums just isn't what it could be. Nothing is "on" this night. But I would check out the Vega sung songs Neighborhood Girls and the Robin Hitchcock cover Chinese Bones and the respectable Hall And Oates numbers What's Going On by Marvin Gaye and Every Time You Go Away. They're at least interesting for the novelty factor if not for the actual performances. Nothing this night is awful, but nothing shines either.
Reviewer: cannon1iron - favoritefavoritefavorite - September 24, 2009
Subject: one to miss
I saw over 50 grateful dead shows and this was my worst one. My friends and I had some chemical influences that night and the extra music that wasn't the Dead's did not sit well. Other than the Little Red rooster with Mick taylor coming out the show was one to miss. Jerry's voice did not sound good at any point that night. They did the Aiko-Aiko and Women are smarter because the fans were clapping the 5 clap so loud. When they started doing it again during the end of throwing Bobby held out his hands like why do you want to go there again. I wonder if they ever did all 3 of those songs every in one show other than this? If they did was it the dead's choice or the crowd. Last note they did hang a banner inside MSG this night for the Dead. It was for their 25th show at MSG. After that night I never saw the banner again. Now they have Elton John and Billy Joel up there I think the Dead banner should go back up. We all know if Jerry didn't pass away the Dead would have beaten 60 shows at MSG a decade ago.
Reviewer: lefty les - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 29, 2009
Subject: O'L Jerr
Its nights like this that are my favorite and the shows that I am most thankful for. Jerry gave everything he had everytime he took the stage. Shine or rain he was there for us. That is a big reason why he is not here for us now.

5 STARS!!!!
Reviewer: NickDanger3 - favoritefavorite - March 17, 2009
Subject: A Mistake???
Man, I can't believe Trannyman says that letting Hall and Oates sing was a big mistake!! *Anything* would be better than more of Garcia's death croaks, but they were excellent on 'Waht's Going On'.
Reviewer: M*rsh - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 28, 2009
Subject: In hindsight
20 years later, my feelings about this show haven't changed much. The cost of a benefit ticket ($50) seemed steep at the time, but now standard tix are twice that price!
As Jerry's & Bobby's voices failed and Brent & Phil jumped in as needed, I wondered why none of the myriad of other artists present didn't lend a vocal cord. It was the 1st time I saw Hornsby on stage with the band, and knew there was magyck here.
The night after my 24th B-day, I thought it was a great show, highlighted by Brent's verse in ROOSTER. Couldn't complain, just empathized with those poor sore throats.
Reviewer: bobby33914 - favorite - October 25, 2008
Subject: Oh Boy
Dick's Picks, thats a good one!!!
Reviewer: gratefully_alive - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 6, 2008
Subject: Definatley worth a gander
The sound quality isn't too bad and the set list, well, they never have bad ones.. I like this one just for the mear fact it was played on my 1st birthday.. Too bad i couldn't have gone.
Reviewer: rick e. - favoritefavoritefavorite - April 21, 2008
Subject: 9-24-88
Pretty good Stranger.Drums sound good and tight in the mix.Sometimes when Jerry's voice was shot he played guitar extra good.Check out Hartford '88
or 11-24-78.
Reviewer: swamiGD80s - favorite - July 25, 2007
Subject: didnt even make it to 2nd Set
I somehow came into possession of a cassette of the 1st set, and upon listening it was so awful (the performance not sound quality) that I feel compelled to respectfully disagree with the other reviewers.

Maybe I would enjoy the 2nd Set more, but I would say that the 1st Set is absolutely terrible...not well-played in any sense.
Reviewer: Burnt Rich - favoritefavoritefavorite - July 25, 2007
Subject: This show SMOKES!!!
One man gathers what another man spills and all that ...Great, booming sound. I always knew about this one but I could never get a tape. Saw pictures of the show in my Grateful Dead Family Album and spent years wondering just what did Chinese Bones sound like?? Very happy to finally digest this one. This one gets high marks not just because of the unique songs (I mean LOOK @ that 2nd set) --but it just feels and sounds like the good times that were the Grateful Dead experience. Sorry if others feel so short changed!!! Too bad!!! This one is a CLASSIC!!
Reviewer: Trannyman - favoritefavorite - August 30, 2006
Subject: Almost good
S. Vega is a success. The Dead actually sound kinda sexy with her out there...if that was ever possible. The Vega tunes are good. Went out and bought some of her albums aferwards.

Hall and Oats sitting in was a major mistake.

The rest is decent through set 1. Garcia is done by set 2 and should be in bed. Sound quality is pretty bad too, considering it was on the radio.

But, get it anyway for the Vega novelty.
Reviewer: lobster12 - favoritefavorite - June 28, 2006
Subject: love the cause
while the cause was great and the line up was nice, Jer's voice is gone and a lot of this show is tough. If the big guy's voice was better 3 stars as is only 2. Dicks Picks selection? say it aint so?
Reviewer: broomhead - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 2, 2006
Subject: The wheel...
To listen to it is tough. It was a fun show, a real "had to be there" But if you were it was just so what "it" was all about. Everyone collectively holding their breath and willing Jerry's voice through it. While it didn't quite work, the crowd ate up the good natured grinning between the band as Brent picked up the vocals just before the song disintegrated. They hit the rest of the set reasonably well and everyone seemed to rally around in appreciation.

**The absolute standouts of the evening were Billy and Mickey who ABSOLUTELY SMOKED through the entire show. Even in this FM, mediocre recording the booming rhythms come through.. The 1,2..&..3,4 of NFA felt like someone was punching you in the sternum to the beat!! I miss the complex beats they pounded out more than I ever dreamed I would.
Reviewer: jboyaquar - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 6, 2006
Subject: Obviously, an unique evening
Well, this should be interesting... A Rain Forest Event?! I'm surprised Sting wasn't around though I do seem to remember Jerry giving some tracks to a disc for a like-minded cause, and the Dead allowing 'Throwing Stones' to be used for a Greenpeace double-disc set.

1st Set: I can't believe that "Neighborhood Girls" opened this show?! Plenty of busy same-sounding acoustic strummings amplify a descriptive Suzanne Vega number. "...from all of us from this side of the stage,back, thank you NY - the Grateful Dead. They march their way into a standard professional "Iko." Yea, that sensibility also mars an otherwise fine "Stranger." Seemingly, not that enthused to be onstage at MSG considering they've been doing so quite fine by themseleves for the past 8 of 12 evenings. A hoarse-y Jerry, "We'd like to invite Mick Taylor out to play with us." It's crunchy, busy and guitariffic on "West LA." "Rooster" is also very capable, but they're something vibing off the music that's givin me an ehhhh.. Each musician finds a nice nuance to provide a couple of small pleasures during "Box." More pokey please with "ramble." Jerry loses 80% of his voice 2:05 in. Bobby's singing "Masterpiece" well but it's listless. "Ease" is a quick way for the men to exit without Jerry having to embarass himself further by singing.

2nd Set: "This song is by Robyn Hitchcock and is called 'Chinese Bones.'" Imagine sitting by a stream after ditching work for the day on a Wednesday afternoon... uh huh. Vega's voice is identifiable but lacks strength and a woman's force. However, the music twinkles and wouldn't be a bad option for an extended make-out session. Ahhh...this is where "Neighborhood Girls" belongs as she introduces it. A wise-ass dude then pipes up, "I love 'Neighborhood Girls.'" Anyways, 'this version' of the show appropriately moves into something "Crazy." Jerry's voice is shot. Let the smackdown upon the lips continue. And to ensure no move we make will be taken as 'pushing our luck' we'll complement them with a little "Women Smarter." But she's determined to break up this idyllic afternoon. So make her feel guilty by picking up your handy accordian and cheese her back with Hall & Oates, "Every Time You go Away" a 6:38 song that should have gone no longer than 4. Full musical accompaniment for "Thank you. we'd like to do another song, bless his heart, from Marvin Gaye who wrote a song in the seventies that means as much today," for "What's Going On." It sure sounds like Bobby/Jerry are using similiar "Eyes" tones for this tune. Full blown -out affair that segues into "Drums" with Baba Olatunji's chantings & Michael Hinton's percussion and bird calling talents. "Space" was short...not wanting to scare off the non-Deadheads in attendance, I guess... leading to a lesson we can all take to heart, "The Wheel." It gets sloppy near the end and the singing wasn't all that. "Throwing" is clear-headed and easy to get all pumped up about and its partner "NFA" flows well yet only skims the surface of its potential.
That's it... no 'Good Lovin' finale or 'Knockin' encore :(

2 4/5th stars rounded up for novelty
Reviewer: Wake of the Flood One - favoritefavoritefavorite - August 12, 2005
Subject: Circle of Gold...
I remember pulling up to the Hotel around West 57th I think.... the day of the 2nd to last show of the run....and 3 of the hottest chicks were outside, I think they were hoping to get a glimpse of somebody...I think Hornsby was staying at the hotel or something...most of the Dead were at another hotel......for my first East Coast show I was up in the nose bleed seats...but feeling that east coast energy for sure....

I remember this show..The highlights for this benifit were seeing the other musicians to break up the Dead Lineup for some surprises....I was in the circle of gold and that was pretty cool since I was Dead Center about 15 rows back if my memory serves me correct...I vaguely remember making it to the after party...and getting a poster...but I have no idea how I actually got the taxi back to my hotel....but it was definatly one of the few times the Dead played with so many guests during one night...Mick Taylor, Suzanne Vega, Hall and Oats,...and a couple of others...
Reviewer: DeadAtTheCore - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 7, 2005
Subject: Ok, I have to defend this one
This is my first review, so please bear with me. I was at this show as well as the 22nd. While the 22nd was much better musically, which is of such great importance to me as a fan of the Dead's music, this show had a sweetness that I think is being overlooked. Not only was it an important Benefit Show, the way the other Bhoys came to Jerry's rescue vocally was something I will never forget. It was the kind of stuff we all loved the Bhoys for. True teamwork. As a musician myself that's what it's always about....everybody playing off each other, inspiring each other and making it happen, or not happen, together. Covering each other's mistakes or shortcomings, and accentuating, or trying to, each other's moments of brilliance.
Jerry's voice was shot and that is a testament to how the Dead organization, and WE the deadheads, pushed him too much. He needed rest, not tour after tour. But yeah, I know, Jerry may have been the first to protest playing less.
You can say what you like about the guests and all, but afterall, this was a Benefit Show. And I had one of the greatest moments of my life at this show. My friend and I looked at each other again and again and asked "Is it?" "Is that Mick Taylor?" And yeah, it was. To see Jerry and Mick together, two of my favourite guitarists, both with that meandering style I love, play Rooster together was one of those moments when you say, Yeah, this is IT. I was, and still am, so happy I was there. To my knowledge this is the only time Mick played with the Bhoys and I am eternally grateful I was there for it.
So, say what you like, I understand, it doesn't sound like a great show, but in its defence I will say there were extremely important, and sweet, moments. Thanks for bearing with me.
The four stars are simply for the things I've described.
Reviewer: bigboypeete - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 18, 2005
Subject: whats all the jive talk for
fuck it if his voice is off he still sounds good, and the playings good, man there are some picky heads on this site,spoiled by the selection,one of the first shows i got many many shows later still sounds good to me, whats goin on? if everyone was that damn picky about the voice who would go see bob dylan, ill take jerry voice in any condition over vince welnicks anyday
Reviewer: LVDEADHEAD - favoritefavorite - April 25, 2005
Subject: NOt bad
I actually had a video of this show, way back in the day.....during the cover songs you can tell Jerry wasnt enjoying himself....He had a big grin on his face like...."what the hell am I doing this for"
Reviewer: touch heads rule - favorite - April 1, 2005
Subject: .
Reviewer: Old & in the Way - favoritefavorite - February 1, 2005
Subject: Why it was a Great Show!!
It was my 7th show in 8 days. I was working in the city and basically lost my voice. I sat in the "Circle of Gold" reserved upfront and it included a party down in Union Square. Does Anybody remember the name of the building? Met all the boys, had a beer while Kreutzman was holding court (with John Oates). Iwas zipping along and tried to get in Baba Olatunji's Limo at about 3am. He wasn't interested in driving me home. Way below average show but a phenomenol night for me.
Reviewer: borndead - favorite - January 22, 2005
Subject: Dicks Picks
I heard this was the next Dicks Picks,I wish this show would Go Away.
Feel sorry for whoever had this as their first show.
Is there a good review any where of this?
I give you permission to see if there was a Phish show this night instead.
Reviewer: capn doubledose - favoritefavoritefavorite - December 15, 2004
Subject: voice is shot i agree but....
there is some good stuff here and worth a listen.
Reviewer: Bob the listener - favoritefavoritefavorite - November 28, 2004
Subject: Hall and Oates YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!
gotta love these two wonderful men singing together...
the sheer brilliance of these two performers outshines the Dead to the point where they might as well have not even been on stage! just a beautiful rendition of "everytime you go away," a Marx song i believe, heaven!!
no, i mean yes, im kidding.
this show is really bizzarre, a strange Dead show, maybe stranger than strange. avoid this one, but take a streaming listen just for kicks.
3 stars, only because of the weirdness.
Reviewer: Bob the listener - favoritefavoritefavorite - November 28, 2004
Subject: Hall and Oates YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!
gotta love these two wonderful men singing together...
the sheer brilliance of these two performers outshines the Dead to the point where they might as well have not even been on stage! just a beautiful rendition of "everytime you go away," a Marx song i believe, heaven!!
no, i mean yes, im kidding.
this show is really bizzarre, a strange Dead show, maybe stranger than strange. avoid this one, but take a streaming listen just for kicks.
3 stars, only because of the weirdness.
Reviewer: Aiko - favorite - August 27, 2004
Subject: dont do it
Jerry's voice is shot. The music is ok
Reviewer: obie19 - favorite - August 24, 2004
Subject: Yawn...
While it is cool to hear some of these songs with the various guests they had, specifically Rooster, Chinese Bones and What's Going On, there really isn't much here worth keeping. Jerry's voice is so beat that it ruins every one of his songs. While the sound quality is excellent, I would reccomend only downloading some of the songs for fillers. 4 stars for novelty and sound, 0 stars for excitement and poor Jerry's voice for the last show of the east coast tour. (Listen to the 30th at Shoreline and see what a week's difference makes)
Reviewer: smithjr - favoritefavoritefavorite - August 4, 2004
Subject: Rooster
Smoking hot Rooster with some choice Mick Taylor work here.
Reviewer: rojimmy - favorite - July 28, 2004
Subject: not worth it
this was my 15th show of the tour(seeing all 9 of these MSG'S) was feeling pretty spent. Certainly not a night to remember. The Vega and Hall and Oates segments were not enjoyable (to me. The first set is ok but thats about it just ok even with Mick Taylor joining in. I remember going up to the 400's to chill out (sleep, didn't get much the night before, something about shrooms at midnight the night before triggers my memory=-) Very uninspiring 2nd set even the few Dead songs thrown in did nothing for me. Left during Heaven's even with Jack on was time to go
Reviewer: jeffsetz - favoritefavoritefavorite - July 11, 2004
Subject: some gems here
Ok, so it's not one for the ages, but there are some stunning moments here that are worthy of a least a few listens. The Rooster w/ Mick Taylor is pretty hot and the two tracks with Suzanne Vega may be the true highlights. Her version of Chinese Bones is worth the download alone. The song seems SO perfest for the Dead and I'm surprised they never did the tune again.
The rainforest drums/space is pretty cool as well.
Reviewer: billydlions - favorite - July 10, 2004
Subject: dont bother
Dont waste your time with this one. I remember listening to the live broadcast on WNEW and being glad that I didn't waste the big bucks that they were charging for tickets at this rainforest benefit show. Jerry's voice was so bad that it was painfull to listen to.
Reviewer: Cpt K - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 9, 2004
Subject: Good Lovin?
I heard this show before but I am wondering does anyone have a copy of the show complete with the Good Lovin encore? Good Lovin is my favorite song the Dead do and I would love to hear the one from this night. Any help?


Reviewer: longhair26266 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 8, 2004
Subject: I Allways Like This Show!
The best part of the show is when .
S. Vega & Hall & Oates are on the stage.
S. B.
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